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Friday, July 22, 2011

Get Support Fast for Your Dynamics Issues – Insight from a Customer Service Consultant

Posted by Jim Conway

In most cases when you enter a ticket, send an email, or call a consultant for help or support on an issue, you need help right away. The best way to get fast support is to provide as much information about the issue as possible from the start. Generic descriptions of the problem will require the consultant to contact you and dig into what the problem actually is. Examples of valid, yet imprecise, support requests include:

• “My Sales Orders don’t work!”
• “I am getting an error message, and I can’t do anything.”
• “The General Ledger/Invoicing/Production Order Entry/Bar Code system is broken.”
• “My system is down.”

By calling you to determine what part of the Sales Order process isn’t working or if the system is down for just one person or everyone in the company, the consultant has to spend valuable time on a “discovery process.” This can delay him or her from beginning work on your solution.

So what can be done to speed the entire process up? Here are a few suggestions to help your support consultant help you:

1. If you are reporting this issue for one of your users and not yourself, please give us the user name, activity log, and contact and security information. The issue they are having could very well be specific to them and we can log in remotely to correct the problem with these vital pieces of information.

2. Give us the exact location of the offending process (i.e., In the PROD Instance, in Accounts Receivable; Accounts Receivable Area; Common Forms; Sales Order Details – Line Item entry). This is will allow the Consultant to go right to that location to solve the issue.

3. If at all possible, give the Consultant a screen shot. (Give us a lot of screen shots – we love ‘em!) There are free tools available that will allow anyone to capture a screen and put it in a document. You can send reports to .pdf documents and send them to us. Many of us at Armanino Consulting use Jing® by TechSmith® (http://www.techsmith.com/jing/). An example:

Click to Enlarge

With this one image, the consultant has most of the information he or she will need to troubleshoot the issue: the process, the actual Sales Order, the Line and the Item, and because there is a comment, the issue at hand. The consultant also knows the user, the company, the instance, and even the layer the user is working in – just because the image has that information in the bottom right corner.

4. If you cannot provide a screen shot, a solid description will work. For example:
a. In the TEST instance, in Accounts Receivable; Accounts Receivable Area; Common Forms; Sales Order Details, I am encountering this problem. For Sales Order SO-101241 in the line section for line 2 with part number 5009, the unit price is displayed as $ 0.08, but this is incorrect, because I setup a Pricelist for this part, and it should be $ 0.11. I cannot figure out why I am getting the 8 cent price.

5. Tell the consultant if the issue/problem can be duplicated in a test instance. Generally, you don’t want us mucking around in your Production instance and we don’t want to maneuver through the whole SOX compliance thing or your company security. If you know we are going to have to enter data or test a process that will update the database and the database is too old, get the test instance database refreshed. This is another time saver because the Consultant will have to ask you to do it if the databases are many days out of sync.

The more information you can give when you open a ticket, send an email, or call us can dramatically increase the turnaround time for a resolution to your reported problem. Contact me (jim.conway@amllp.com) if you have any questions or want further guidance for speeding up the support process for your organization.

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